Perfect Pitch top vote-getters Elizabeth Grego, Peter Meyer, Thivani Senathiraja, Dhananjay Dileep
The Perfect Pitch top honorees (left to right): Elizabeth Grego (first), Peter Meyer (tie for second), Thivani Senathiraja (tie for second), Dhananjay Dileep (third).

The comment, “So, tell me about your research!” will be easier to field for the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering’s (CBE) graduate students who took part in this year’s Perfect Pitch competition.

The students once again faced a 90-second time limit (with the aid of one PowerPoint slide) in presenting an “elevator speech” of what their research is all about. Based on voting by their peers and CBE faculty and staff, the top three vote-getters are honored and also receive cash prizes. For the second year in a row, a tie for one position netted four students being recognized:

  • First place: Elizabeth Grego – “Effective Nanovaccine Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus” ($150 prize)
  • Second place (tie): Thivani Senathiraja – “Advancing The Development of Copolymer Membranes for Hydrogen Fuel Cells” ($100 prize)
  • Second place (tie): Peter Meyer – “The Polyamide Problem” ($100 prize)
  • Third place: Dhananjay Dileep – “Leveraging The Butterfly Effect To Achieve Chemical Recyclability For Recalcitrant Polyethylene Terephthalate” ($50 prize)
Elizabeth Grego presents her reseach
Elizabeth Grego presents her research during the competition.

All chemical engineering graduate students who completed their qualifying exams but have yet to pass their thesis prelim exam (roughly second- to fourth-year Ph.D. candidates) presented. Judging focused on how well the students addressed the following criteria:

  • What is the real-life problem your research addresses?
  • How does your approach uniquely solve the problem?
  • What is the potential impact if your research is successful?
  • Quality of the visual aid and overall presentation style


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